The Woman in Latin American and Spanish Literature

Essays on Iconic Characters

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About the Book

Noted scholars of Latin American and Spanish literature here explore the literary history of Latin America through the representation of iconic female characters. Focusing both on canonical novels and on works virtually unknown outside their original countries, the essays discuss the important ways in which these characters represent nature, history, race and sex, the effects of globalization, and the unknowable “other.” They examine how both male and female writers portray Latin American women, reinterpreting the dynamics between the genders across boundaries and historical periods. Drawing on recent theories in literary criticism, gender, and Latin American studies, these essays illuminate the women characters as conduits for the appreciation of their countries and cultures.

About the Author(s)

Eva Paulino Bueno is a professor of Spanish and Portuguese and Chair of the Department of Languages at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas. She has published widely on Brazilian literature and popular culture, as well as on comparative literature and feminist studies.
María Claudia André, a professor of Hispanic American literature and Latin American studies at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, is the author of several works on Latin American women writers.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Eva Paulino Bueno and María Claudia André
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 242
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6599-6
eISBN: 978-0-7864-9081-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi
Foreword by Marjorie Agosín      1
Introduction      3

I. WOMAN AS NATURE
1. Gender and Nation from Past to Present: From María to Macabéa
HÉCTOR FERNÁNDEZ-L’HOESTE      14
2. Intoxicating Outlaws: Dominance and Sexuality in Rómulo Gallegos’ Doña Bárbara
PATRICIA L. SWIER      30
3. Through the Eyes of the Child: The Narrator of Balún Canán
JEANIE MURPHY      46

II. WOMAN IN HISTORY
4. María Eugenia Alonso: The Modern Iphigenia Sacrificed to Society
ROSEANNA MUELLER      60
5. Jesusa in the Context of Testimonios: Witness to an Age or Witness to Herself ?
LINDA LEDFORD-MILLER      74
6. La cómplice oficial: Catalina in Angeles Mastretta’s Arráncame la vida
ALICE EDWARDS      86
7. Cultural and Literary Ethos as Represented in García Lorca’s La casa de Bernarda Alba
JEFFREY OXFORD      101

III. WOMAN AS THE PERVERSE POWERS OF RACE AND SEX
8. Blackness, Otherness, Woman(ness): Sierva María de Todos los Ángeles or the Death Throes of Colonial Cartagena
LEONORA SIMONOVIS      116
9. Gabriela, or Freedom Versus Marriage
LINDA LEDFORD-MILLER      129

IV. WOMAN AND THE BURDEN OF GLOBALIZATION
10. Sex and the Two Cartagenas in Óscar Collazos’ Rencor
ALDONA POBUTSKY      146
11. Reality by the Garbage Truckload: The Case of Unica Oconitrillo
JERRY HOEG      162

V. WOMAN AS THE UNKNOWABLE OTHER
12. Women in Borges: Teodelina Villar in “El Zahir”
MARÍA FERNÁNDEZ-LAMARQUE      178
13. Life Amidst the Ashes: Irene’s Search for Meaning and Connection in María Flora Yáñez’s Las cenizas
LISA MERSCHEL      194
14. Can the Feminine Speak? Narrating Madalena and Macabéa
MARCUS V.C. BRASILEIRO      207

About the Contributors      223
Index      227

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Highly recommended”—Choice
  • “Essays examines representations of iconic female characters through Spanish and Latin American literary history”—Reference & Research Book News.